The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends taking your child to the dentist within the first year of their life or at least by the time their first tooth erupts. But some parents wonder if this is truly important. After all, they say, those baby teeth will fall out. In spite of that fact, dentistry for children is extremely important. Here’s just a few of the reasons why.
1. Dentistry for Children Establishes Life Long Habits
A lot of adults’ habits were picked up when they were children. This is especially true when it comes to dental habits. If someone becomes used to brushing and flossing on a regular basis when they are a child, they are more likely to continue that practice into their adult years. On the other hand, if they don’t learn how to take care of their dental health, they have to make a choice to do that when they are older, and at that point establishing new habits can be hard.
2. Your Pediatric or Family Dentist Sets the Tone for How Your Child Feels About Dentistry
Additionally, if children have positive experiences going to the dentist as children, they are likely to carry those positive feelings into their adulthood. In contrast, if they have negative or scary experiences with dentistry for children, they are likely to feel scared and reluctant about going to the dentist as an adult. To ensure your child has positive experiences, find a calming atmosphere, a kind dentist, and a place that helps your child feel comfortable.
3. Baby Teeth Are Guides for Adult Teeth
Baby teeth aren’t just something that your child has for a few years and then they go away. Those little teeth work as guides for your child’s adult teeth. If the baby teeth rot and have to be extracted, the adult teeth may grow into the wrong spots or at the wrong angles.
In fact, the top (crown) of your child’s adult teeth actually sits just below the baby teeth. The crown pushes on the roots of the baby teeth and when it’s time, that connection causes the roots of the baby teeth to melt or resorb into the gum tissue and jaw bone, and when that happens, the baby teeth fall out to make room for the permanent teeth.
4. Baby Teeth Help With Major Mouth Functions
Teeth aren’t just for a beautiful smile. They also help with chewing and speaking. Your child needs to have healthy, intact teeth so that they can learn how to do these critical functions correctly. Dentistry for children helps to protect your child’s teeth so this is all possible.
5. Decay Spreads
From the time your child loses their first baby tooth to the day they lose their last baby tooth, they have a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth in their mouth. If the baby teeth are allowed to rot and decay, the decay will spread to the other teeth, creating more problems.
At Walton Center for Family Dentistry, we offer dentistry for children. We can offer your child routine exams, cleanings, topical fluoride application, dental sealants, fillings, bonding to replace chips, and other services. To make an appointment, contact us today.